Continued goodwill can restart cross-strait dialogue: SEF head

Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Tien Hung-mao (田弘茂) said on Friday that he believes the continued gestures of goodwill from Taiwan can eventually open up dialogue and cooperation with China.

He said that the creation of a friendly environment through the continued release of goodwill will eventually restart cross-strait dialogue and benefit people on both sides.

“We still believe that both sides need to have more contacts in order to cement the basis of peaceful development,” Tien said.

Cross-strait relations have turned cool and dialogues stalled since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) assumed office on May 20, because Tsai and her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) refuse to recognize the “1992 consensus.”

The consensus reached under the previous ruling party Kuomintang’s administration refers to a tacit agreement between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait that there is “one China,” with each side free to interpret its meaning.

Tien noted that President Tsai said in her National Day address on Oct. 10 that her pledge at the inaugural speech will remain unchanged, stressing that the government will conduct cross-strait affairs in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of China, the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, and other relevant legislation.

He said that looking back during the past year as 2016 is nearing an end, the world situation has undergone tremendous change, including Europe’s rejection of the influx of refugees, the Brexit and the “upset victory” of Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election.

This has shown political conservatism is now spreading around the world, according to Tien. He said that the gap between the rich and the poor has continued to widen in many countries under the impact of globalization and a new wave of the industrial revolution.

Over the past few decades, the world has been dedicated to lifting the restrictions on trade, funding, technology and personnel exchanges, but it will likely see protectionism and more restrictions on immigrants.

He said that isolationism, protectionism and populistic nationalism could make a comeback.

As Trump has categorically rejected the trade bloc Trans Pacific Partnership, it will be a tough test for trade-oriented Taiwan, Tien said.

Tien added that the SEF and related government agencies will help the people and Taiwanese businesses cope with the new situation at a joint meeting of SEF board directors and supervisors.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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